Saturday, January 26, 2008

565 Broadway Tacoma

Spanish stairs of the Elks lodge
The Elks Lodge



This is my favorite building in Tacoma. It is the old Elks building. As a teenager my husband Ron use to work there as a bus boy/dishwasher. In it's day it was a grand facility with a pool, ballroom and a theatre. Cotillons, weddings and every other major social event was held here.


It has been vacant now for many years and the person who bought it in the 70's or ?? hated the Tacoma city counsel so much that he was going to just demolish it out of spite. Fotunately the city took him to court and stopped him. We had all hoped that the Mcmenamin brothers (http://www.mcmenamins.com/) were going to purchase & refurbish it as they had done with many other properties but a Portland group bought it. There is still some hope that they will be collaborating on the revival of the grand old Elks lodge.


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Grey said...

I pass this building regularly and I never knew what the building used to be. I often daydream about winning the lottery and living there. =) Oh how I wish the Mcmenamin brothers had made one of their hotels out of it. I would stay there and I already live in Tacoma. =)

Anonymous said...

In the mid 80's, the company of the Freighthouse Theatre established residence at the 565. There were also people there trying to refurbish the property. The Green Room bar, (not sure if that was the official name) was a pretty lively place for awhile.
"See How They Run" and "Pirates of Penzance" were theatrical productions that I am sure that were in production there. I think there were more, but I don't have specifics. I also attended a pretty swanky drag show that took place in the upstairs ballroom space. I don't think that ballroom was ever completely refinished but there were some large rooms on the main floor were beautiful and had amazing views of the Sound. The pool in the basement was also kind of fun place. I didn't see any specifics in the plans for the pool in the renovations but I hope it's included in the project.

I am so looking forward to visiting the old place again. We had a lot of fun there.

Stephanie B.

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